Thursday 18th May. 7PM. Sky Sports 1
Following 15 weeks of scintillating action, the Premier League’s top four players head to London’s O2 Arena knowing that just 21 legs stand between them and the 2017 crown.
This event has produced many memorable moments over the years, including Michael van Gerwen’s 11-3 demolition of Phil Taylor in last year’s final. Will one of those two superstars pick up the winners’ cheque for £250,000 on Thursday, or will one of the other semi-finalists get their hands on the sport’s second largest prize?
Prepare yourselves for a thrilling night at the oche.
MVG Out To Retain His Crown
Despite a couple of poor performances by his own lofty standards, the defending champion still ended the regular stages in top spot with a very impressive return of 24 points. While that was still two fewer than last year’s haul of 26 in the group phases, the Dutchman will still be heavily fancied to go all the way on Thursday night.
When at his very best, the current world champion simply cannot be caught. The slightly longer format of 19 and 21 legs, rather than the usual best of 12s, should serve the 28-year-old well too. If he hits his peak, even for 10 minutes, the given match is likely to go his way.
Having said that, he is up against one of the tour’s toughest characters in Gary Anderson. In addition to the talent, the Flying Scotsman has underlined his capabilities of handling the pressure on multiple occasions over the past three or four years. Do not be surprised if the 2015 champion causes an upset.
But even if the Dutchman does win the race to 10, he’ll still have another big obstacle in his way.
Will Snakebite Get It Wright Against Taylor?
The other semi-final sees Peter Snakebite Wright progress to this stage for the first time. Frankly, it would take a brave man to bet against him in what has easily been his most consistent season to date.
Snakebite faces Phil Taylor in the last four, having beaten the Power 7-3 just three weeks ago in Birmingham. Will he continue that dominance with a repeat display in this race to 10, or can the six-time champion end his final Premier League campaign in style.
The retiring Taylor has lost the killer consistency that saw him rule the world for over two decades, but he still has the skill to win any given match. Could two victories on Thursday provide one last major tournament win?
Both semi-finals are set to provide bags of entertainment, and they’ll be followed by an equally enthralling final. It’ll be a great night regardless, but a winning bet would suit us just fine.
Premier League Darts 2017 Play-Off Night Betting
MVG enters the play-offs as the odds-on favourite, and it isn’t hard to see why. Having said that, he’ll need to beat two classy opponents to get his hands back on the title, and that shouldn’t be taken as a given.
Can the world champion retain his Premier League crown? Yes. But is there value in backing one of the other three to cause an upset? Definitely.
As for the semi-final matches, we’re concerning ourselves with the Wright v Taylor match and we’ll be backing Snakebite to continue his incredible year by booking his place in the final.
If he gets his nose in front early, the Scotsman could make light work in turning the Power out. Backing him to win by four legs or more is risky. Over the course of a race to 10 legs, though, he is more than capable.